St. Johns Wort may be therapeutic in the treatment of nicotine addiction. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Hypericum perforatum L. (St John's wort) extract Ze 117 inhibits dopamine re-uptake in rat striatal brain slices. An implication for use in smoking cessation treatment?
Phytother Res. 2009 Jul 7. PMID: 19585471
Classic synthetic antidepressant drugs, as well as St John's wort extract (SJW), directly inhibit the re-uptake of norepinephrine (NE) and/or serotonin (5-HT) into pre-synaptic axons. With chronic treatment they induce adaptive changes in a number of neurotransmitter receptors in synaptic membranes. The immediate effects of SJW Ze 117, an extract low in hyperforin content, on the specific dopamine (DA) uptake were studied in rat striatal brain slices and compared with the effects on NE and 5-HT uptake in rat cortical brain slices.Specific DA uptake was inhibited in a dose dependent manner. In contrast to the findings in synaptosomal preparations published so far, the extract showed different inhibitory potencies for the respective transporters. The potencies for the uptake inhibition of NA, DA and 5-HT were 30, 7 and 1, respectively. The results indicate that the SJW Ze 117 extract interferes in three ways with the individual uptakes of the relevant neurotransmitters that are considered to be causal in the development of depression.This observation, the concomitant and potent inhibition of DA re-uptake by SJW extract, may additionally provide a rationale for the treatment of nicotine or drug addiction with SJW. Copyright (c) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.